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Stars sign breakout forward Mike Ribeiro to $25-million, 5-year contract

DALLAS - Mike Ribeiro didn't have to wait for next summer to cash in on his breakout season.

The skilled forward signed a five-year contract with the Stars on Monday worth US$25 million, nearly doubling his salary while keeping him in Dallas for the forseeable future.

"I'm glad it's behind me so I can focus on hockey," said Ribeiro, who had two assists in Dallas's 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Monday. "I've made a home here and there was no doubt I wanted to stay."

The 27-year-old has a career-high 21 goals to go with 25 assists in 41 games. Ribeiro was set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, and his performance so far during the 2007-08 season would have guaranteed him a lucrative multi-year contract.

"Mike has made a big impact on our hockey club the past two seasons and we are very happy to have him under contract," Stars co-general manager Brett Hull said in a statement. "He makes things happen on the ice and will only continue to grow as a player."

Ribeiro, who will make $2.8 million this season, has 105 points (39-66) in 122 career games with Dallas after being acquired in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens in Sept. 2006. Ribeiro was chosen by Montreal in the second round of the 1998 draft, and recorded a career-high 65 points (20-45) in 2003-04.

Ribeiro has 89 goals and 169 assists in 398 games with Dallas and Montreal.

-With files from The Associated Press.

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